The leaders of the United States and Germany welcomed the statement of the Russian president on the need to continue the diplomatic resolution of the current crisis.

President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz held telephone talks. The leaders of the United States and Germany discussed the buildup of Russian military power near the Ukrainian border and stressed the importance of strengthening NATO’s eastern flank in the event of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, the White House said.

A representative of the German government said that Biden and Scholz agreed that the situation in Ukraine should be assessed as “extremely serious,” since the risk of further military aggression by Russia still persists.

The world is going through one of the deepest crises in relations between East and West in recent decades, associated with the struggle for geopolitical influence and energy supplies. Russia demands guarantees from NATO that Ukraine will never be accepted into the Western military alliance.

A White House statement said Biden and Scholz discussed their recent talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky.

Biden and Scholz “reaffirmed their commitment to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine and stressed the importance of continuing transatlantic coordination in the field of diplomacy and deterrence measures, as well as strengthening NATO’s eastern flank in the event of a further Russian invasion of Ukraine,” the White House said.

Steffen Hebestreit, an official representative of the German government, said it was necessary to be “as vigilant as possible”, since there has not yet been a significant withdrawal of Russian troops from the Ukrainian border. Biden and Scholz welcomed the words of Putin, who yesterday stated the need to continue diplomatic efforts, Hebestright added.

Scholz and Biden agreed on the importance of moving forward in the implementation of the Minsk agreements concluded by Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany in 2015, and to continue meetings in the “Normandy format,” the representative of the German government said.